A Calculus of Suffering

By Martin S. Pernick,

Book cover of A Calculus of Suffering: Pain, Professionalism and Anesthesia in Nineteenth-Century America

Book description

Analyzes the impact of anesthesia on nineteenth-century medicine, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of anesthesia, and explains how rules for its use were developed

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Why read it?

1 author picked A Calculus of Suffering as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Most of us figure doing evil, even if good results, is not ethical but without this, there would be no medicine. Martin Pernick covers the discovery of anesthesia and the ethical dilemmas this new ability to save lives by poisoning people posed. Anesthesia is a technique and techniques are amoral. How do we ensure they enhance rather than diminish us? How do we avoid seduction into a sleep during which we can be cosmetically enhanced? Is there a limit to how many drugs we give children to manage their behaviour – just because we can? Treating and stopping are not the…

From David's list on how medicine should be.

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